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The Journey Continues: Three Years Part Two

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Editor's Note: The Journey Continues celebrates three years this month. This Sunday and next Sunday will highlight columns of note over the years.

5. My journey at New Year’s always reminds me of the possibility for change. I posed the question: “What do you believe is the greatest change mankind has ever faced in the history of the human race?”

The Answer: “The process of changing from the law of the Old Testament – beginning with the Ten Commandments given to Moses – to the love and grace in the New Testament expressed in the resurrection and life of Christ. But the love of Jesus for us does not change.

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.”
Hebrews 13:8

6. Mixed in the journey were some practical checkups of Bible knowledge using quizzes of multiple choice tests and narrative exams. Honestly, I had to look up the answers on some of the questions myself.

7. My journey took me to an example of love and concern for others. I wrote about my Jewish friends who befriended two refugees from Vietnam. How in 1975, after Harvey Bartash received a phone call from Ft. Chaffee, Arkansas announcing that two men he served with in Vietnam were safe in the U.S. He and his wife Helena never faltered. They drove 14 hours from Ft .Benning, Georgia, to the Philadelphia airport to meet the two; and made the decision to allow Helena and their young son to stay behind in Pennsylvania and to open their home to these strangers while Captain Bartash had to return to his duty station at Ft. Benning. For the next two years Helena supported in many ways — teaching American culture, language, how to drive and open a bank account, as well as obtaining employment for them and driving them to work and to daily Mass at the Catholic church. She quoted Rabbi Akiva: “If I am not for myself, who will be? But if I am just for myself, then who am I?” Years later, the Bartash’s shared the joy when one of the men’s family finally arrived in the U.S.

8. Every year my journey at Christmas takes me to the iconic “Red Kettles Campaign” of the American Salvation Army. It is a reminder to us of our blessings and lifts us up when we see all the varied people giving to the kettles. Typically, in Hays County there are 13 locations in Kyle, Wimberly, Buda and San Marcos where hundreds of unpaid volunteers ring the bells. Kathy McNiel, director of the San Marcos Service Center, shared her guiding verse.

“The King will reply, I tell you the truth, whatsoever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me?”
Matthew 25:40

9. My journey at Thanksgiving typically centers on scrumptious holiday meals provided by the military wherever there are people in uniform. I included the menus from the United States Military Academy, West Point, N.Y., from a combat zone in Vietnam, and from Master Sergeant Bobby L. Bryant’s in-flight menu aboard a C-124 Globemaster flying to St. John, Newfoundland in 1954. The best T-Day column was about a “Traveling Turkey” by Laura West, of Redwood.

“In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
I Thessalonians 5:18

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